In the 1980s, an increasing number of new immigrants—predominantly from Mexico and Central America—settled in the Roaring Fork Valley. Many took jobs in the service and construction industries and became a vital part of our local community. Some of these new immigrants struggled to learn English and cultural divides developed in some sectors of our community.
In 1994, the Basalt Regional Library launched the Adult Literacy Program, with the goal of finding ways to better serve all members of the community, regardless of their ability to speak English. For many years, the program served a few dozen one-on-one tutoring pairs who focused learning English and bridging the cultural divide.
By 2005, the number of pairs had grown to more than 60, and the program could no longer be housed within the library’s then limited space. The program spun off from the library and, under the direction of Founder Julie Fox-Rubin, became “English In Action.”
From 2005-2008, English In Action operated under the umbrella of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Corporation, based in Denver. The organization became a fully independent nonprofit organization in 2008, coinciding with the hiring of current executive director, Lara Beaulieu. The organization now has a primary office in El Jebel, a satellite office in the Pitkin County Library in Aspen, and maintains strong relationships with the Basalt Regional Library.